Red Hat Sets the Base for the Fedora Foundation
At a LinuxWorld press conference yesterday, Red Hat provided an update on the
Fedora Foundation, RH’s effort to share control of Fedora’s future
development with the open-source community. RH is creating the Fedora Foundation
with the intent of moving Fedora project development work and copyright ownership
of contributed code to the foundation, says Mark Webbink, deputy general counsel
at Red Hat.
Red Hat introduced plans to establish the Fedora Foundation during the Red
Hat Summit in June. "As with the development of open-source software, the
formation of the Fedora Foundation has been a process driven by those who write
code and documentation,” Webbink says. “Our aim is to conform a
legal structure to the needs of the Fedora community, not force the Fedora community
to adjust development practices to fit a legal structure."
Webbink covered two main areas of Fedora Foundation development: Setting the
mission and organizational status. The purpose of the Fedora Foundation is to
advance, defend and promote the development and distribution of free and open
source-software by facilitating individual developers and companies via a range
of services. By providing administrative and legal support, the FF will help
coders do what they do best: Move technologies forward, he says.
The FF will provide:
-- Establishment and expansion of an open-source patent commons. The Foundation
will fund patent filings for inventions of open-source developers to provide
a protective patent shield around open-source code.
-- An entity for copyright assignment, allowing the foundation to assure compliance
with open-source licenses.
-- A way for individuals or corporations to directly contribute financially
to the development and protection of open-source code, including Fedora.
-- A non-profit entity to organize and manage volunteers. These volunteers,
programmers and otherwise, will have the assurance that they are working on
freely available code and documentation that will always remain available to
Red Hat has drafted bylaws for the incorporation of FF and is in the process
of selecting board members.
For more information on Fedora, visit Fedora